You formed your Washington D.C. LLC. You did the paperwork. You started operating your business.
And now, for one reason or another, you need to change your registered agent. No worries, we’ve got you covered.
There are a number of reasons you might need to change your Washington D.C. LLC’s registered agent. Maybe your designated registered agent moved out of state, left the company, or no longer wants the responsibility. Maybe you had assigned the job to yourself, and you no longer want your address on public record. Maybe (hopefully) your business has expanded so much that you no longer have time to handle the registered agent responsibilities.
Whatever your reason may be, changing a registered agent in Washington D.C. might seem like a daunting task, with a mountain of paperwork and legal proceedings involved. However it’s actually quite simple, and this guide will help make the process quick and painless.
What the District of Columbia Says about changing a Registered Agent
D.C. has certain requirements for changing your LLC’s registered agent. To make this change, you’ll need to file a RA-3 form, found here. Notice that there are several forms related to registered agents, including those for commercial and noncommercial agents. What’s the difference? A commercial registered agent is one that has filed a RA-1 with the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to be listed as a commercial agent; a noncommercial agent hasn’t. Contact your registered agent if you’re unsure which type they are.
For more information on registered agents, including commercial/noncommercial distinctions, see the DCRA Registered Agent webpage.
Who can be a D.C. Registered Agent
You can’t pick just anyone to be a registered agent for your LLC. The state of D.C. puts certain restrictions on who can serve as one. If you’re choosing or changing your registered agent, keep these requirements in mind. The registered agent in D.C. must:
- Be an individual C. resident or a business entity located in D.C.
- Have a C. street address (P.O. boxes are not allowed)
* If your registered agent is a foreign business entity, it must be authorized to transact business in D.C.
How to Change Your D.C. Registered Agent
In order to change your registered agent in D.C., you can either complete and submit a RA-3 form or file online through the CorpOnline web portal.
Both methods will require the same information: your LLC name (exactly as it’s listed in the DCRA records), your current agent’s name and address, and your new agent’s name and address.
If speed is your top priority, filing online is the quickest way to go about it. Begin by going to the CorpOnline portal and register for an account. Then, select your form and follow the instructions to complete it.
Of course, mail is always a reliable option too. Fill out your RA-3 electronically (the DCRA does not accept handwritten forms), print it, then send it to:
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
PO Box 92300
Washington, DC 20090
By mail or online, the DCRA charges a $50 fee to change your registered agent. Online, you will need to pay by credit/debit card, and by mail, you can pay with a check made out to “D.C. Treasurer.”
Your registered agent information is also located on your Articles of Organization and Biennial Report, but you cannot use either of these documents to make an agent change in D.C. You must file a RA-3 or use the online form.
If you’re too busy, or if you’d feel more comfortable letting someone else take the reins, you have the option of hiring a company or individual to file your paperwork for you. It’s a great way to save time and stress.
Submit your form? Pay your fee? You’ll soon have a new registered agent! Typical processing time for mail and online is 15 days after the DCRA receives the form, so you should see your change take place within the next month.
Consider a Registered Agent Service
Think of your registered agent as a mediator between you D.C., the person or business entity that handles some of your most important paperwork.
In case you thought the registered agent was just a formality, look at the documents they handle:
- service of process notices
- tax information
- and other Secretary of State correspondence.
A lot of important stuff. Which is why a reliable registered agent is essential to every D.C. business owner.
By handling high-priority and sensitive documents on your behalf, your registered agent takes care of your communications with the state, so you can spend more time building your business.
Plus, if you operate a D.C. small business from out of state, a trustworthy registered agent is especially important, as the state requires a local contact for your LLC. Having this contact ensures your company will receive and respond to time-sensitive documents, so you won’t miss filings and get hit with penalties.
If you’re unsure where to find a good D.C. registered agent, consider using a registered agent service. These companies provide you a reliable, professional registered agent so you can have peace of mind knowing you won’t ever miss a filing, tax deadline, or state correspondence.
Sure, you can jump online, search “registered agent service,” and get a ton of results. But the truth is that not all of these services are trustworthy. So, we’ve done some research for you. If you want to know you’re getting a top-quality registered agent, take a look at our comparison guide on the top five registered agent services.